Mizoguchi KenjiHanayagi Shotaro, Mori Kakuko, Takada Kokichi
Japan / 1939 / Japanese / 143 minutes / DCP / Black & White
Mizoguchi Kenji’s kabuki drama, his first venture for Shochiku, is a theatrical transcendence of pure cinematic artistry. Featuring beautifully fluid camerawork that draws from scroll paintings, the desperately sad story unfurls as an egotistical actor achieves redemption and artistic greatness through the love and sacrifice of a maid. The splendour of his spectacular kabuki performances is a thrilling tribute to the classical theatre’s expressive power, and simultaneously, an empathic revelation of women’s suffering that fuels its success.